Before I start writing Part 2 (which will be written as a separate blog post), thought of sharing the article I had written in Sep, 2014.
My 2014 article on “Picture Your Future”:-
Capturing a Picture is always a combination of Art and Science. Photographer should have the artistic view to visualize the right moment and make use of the Science of photography to capture ‘the moment’. It is very easily said than done and when it comes to business, economics, finance and management you have to be adept in capturing ‘the right moment’.
Speed of Connectivity and Connections will be the name of the game in the coming years.
‘Connectivity’ here means the literal meaning of being connected. Speed is the key word going forward. Faster you connect to the people around you, faster you will succeed in your ventures. Speed at which customers know about the company will make or break the success story of that company.
‘Connections’ capture the importance of making use of the technology around you to get connected to your customers. You need to be at each and every place where the customer will be present. Going forward Customers will not come looking for you but Companies will have to place themselves at Customer Convenient locations. You have to make use of the all technology touch points to be ‘connected’ with your customers.
Speed of Connectivity will help you to gain customers’ attention and your presence with all touch point ‘Connections’ will enable to tap your potential buyer.
Future will be for those who will be ready to capture the right moment with the help of Connectivity and Connections.
The Present Picture
Start Ups are the new kids on the block who have started to run even before crawling and walking. You can call them the Baby Geniuses. Transition phase from ‘conceiving’ the idea to ‘delivering’ the idea and ‘growing’ the idea/business happens with a ‘click’. As someone said ‘there will be ten other people in the globe thinking about the same idea at the same time, but it all comes down to the guy who has speed to get the idea implemented’. Look back to the late 90s when Amazon and Google were slowly building their business ideas. It took them almost couple of years to establish themselves. After that it has been a steady journey for them. Google can take a lot of credit for being the game changer. Everyone wants to be the next ‘Google’ and they spend hours ‘Googling’ for ideas. But the real nerdy guys are the ones who understand ‘what is required’ to get people talking about you. Facebook story is a classic example of this. Mark Zuckerberg nailed the idea and FB is the biggest story of this decade. Twitter, the other big growth story of the decade, being the ‘bird’ which helps you convey the thoughts through 140 characters.
Look at the century old companies like IBM, Ford, GE, etc. Every single one of them have understood the importance of the modern day ‘apocalypso’ of technological changes that is happening around them. The ones who have adapted to this change are finding it easy to be on the run. Others are lagging behind and want to catch up fast. IBM can be proud of being the pioneers in Big Data and Cloud Computing. Big Data is indeed the keyword for generating business and finding success. Cloud Computing has changed the way people can store data. They used to depend upon their big computers or hard drives to store their information and now they can just ‘look up to the’ cloud. But there are few companies, like Kodak, who were not prepared to join this digital age race and lost out. ‘Every action has got equal and opposite reaction’ but ‘Every Inaction has got enormous reaction’ in this current environment. Brands, which were enjoying the numero uno position, due to inaction have lost their positions. Who would have ever thought that ‘Nokia’ will be displaced from the mobile phone leader spot? By not keeping pace with the Smart Phone bombardment, Nokia lost out to the likes of Samsung, HTC, and a long list of local mobile phone manufacturers. Microsoft has acquired Nokia and hope to turn it around either with or without the Nokia name. Microsoft has organically and inorganically maintained its place in the top notch list. Bill Gates made sure that Microsoft is always there in the race either to create new software or to acquire new software. Steve Jobs on the other hand made ‘Apple’ a prestigious company to work. Every tech geek (even if he is not an Apple fan) eagerly wait for the Apple launches. From iPhones to Mac books to iPads the Apple story continues. Apple has kept pace with this technological momentum and contributed to the digital age revolution.
Who doesn’t want to be an Entrepreneur in this era? Company valuations are going berserk with billions of $. Alibaba.com the Chinese ‘powerhouse’ of e-commerce has launched its IPO in NYSE. It is the highest valued IPO till now. But the race is still going on and you never know may be this record also will be broken soon. What is the next idea that can earn you billions of dollars? This is the question everyone is pondering about.
‘App’ or Application development is the mantra of the globe now. Entertainment, fun, educational, sports, travel, cooking, games, etc. have become the subject of App development. Android has revolutionized the App concept. Apple has not allowed Android to take the lead and has iOS catering to Apple customers. Windows and Blackberry also have Apps built specially for their platforms. From Temple Run to Talking Tom to WhatsApp – Applications keep you busy round the clock.
But did you ever imagine ‘wearing’ a tech device. The present picture is all about ‘Wearables’. The App development centers have created this new space in the industry. Wearables help you track your health, your work out patterns, etc. Sports brands like Adidas, Reebok, Nike, etc. have come out with devices which will help you to track your activities. The smart watches which can be worn to your body help you read your emails, messages, attend calls, etc without touching your smart phone. There are devices available which when worn will measure your body temperature and tell you which is the right day and time where in you will have the highest probability of conceiving a child. Who would have ever thought about stuffs like this?
BE FM – Transmit Signals
Business, Economics, Finance and Management – either of these four forces is always in the back of the mind, whether he is a common man or he is the CEO of a company. The way Business is done nowadays has taken a new meaning. Traditional B2B and B2C models have a new face B2D – Business 2 Demand. B2D customers are those who create new demands in the market or rather have demands which are not catered to currently. So businesses who can capitalize on this ‘Demand’ customers will have an advantage of moving faster in the race to survive or excel. It is important that your business transmit the signals to these next generation customers. The faster these signal reaches the target audience the higher the impact. The current scenario will push every business to be present in all possible arenas or touch points. Businesses have modified or adapted themselves to this new age of digital revolution. Macy’s, one of the biggest departmental stores, have pioneered the usage of technology to enhance their business. The moment the customer walks in to their store the customer will get personalized offers in his smart phone.
Economics from micro to macro impacts your day to day businesses. Micro economic factors has a direct impact on the end consumer. If the factors are favorable then the consumer spending index will improve and businesses can aim for a good turn over. But if it is a reverse scenario then it will impact the businesses. Policy makers track the Macro-economic factors. These factors become the lead indicators for a country’s economic growth. Forecasting the economic factors to the highest level of accuracy will help businesses to plan ahead. Big Data analytics will help to forecast. Businesses who are ready to make use of the analytics will be better prepared for the future. The can catch the right signals quite early and act accordingly.
Private Equities and Venture Capitalists have changed the whole Finance game. They assess the potential of start-ups and invest in them. Start-Ups also are making use of this and taking advantage of the situation. Start-Ups which have a huge potential in terms of the business idea or the overall business potential get approached by more than one PE or VC. PEs and VCs catch the ‘signal’ of the businesses which can perform well in the future and invest in them.
Shutter ‘bug’s and Shutterbugs
With every step you take towards success there are lot of bugs you will have to ward off. There are challenges which each business faces whether it be internal or external factors. Businesses have to look at the econo-political scenarios before taking any decisions. You also have to make sure that you are using the latest technologies which will help you to be close to your consumers. With the new age era giving consumers enough option to raise their concerns through various mediums like Facebook, Twitter, etc. you have to be really agile to speak to the concerned customers and take care of the issues. The delay caused will cause loss of sales and will also damage the reputation of the brand. You as a brand or business ought to present everywhere to capture and resolve the issues. Consumer is highly demanding nowadays and have enough options to choose from. So if you are not available at the ‘right moment’ then consumer will not wait for you until and unless your brand has a high brand equity.
Hearing your existing consumers and potential consumers will help you streamline your business. There is huge opportunity for those who are ready to ‘hear’ the consumers’ voice. Currently tech savvy brands or businesses have their own facebook page, google plus page or twitter handle which help them to connect with the consumers. This will help the brand to keep a tab on the conversations that is happening around your brand. Brands which have started listening to their categories can have a lot of learning in terms of the opportunities available to grow vertically or horizontally. The next keyword is going to be ‘Hearables’. The technology is moving with great pace and ‘Hearables’ will define the way you communicate with your smart devices. Whatever you want to do, from gaming to banking, in your smart device will be controlled with your voice. Brands who will be ready to embrace the ‘hearable’ revolution will be getting the first mover advantage.
How to capture the Picture? – ‘Tearables’
I want to predict ‘Tearables’ as the game changer for the coming decade. Things will move from Smart devices to wearables to hearbales and then will emerge the ‘Tearables’. Tearables will be in two forms. The devices that you use from laptops to tablets to mobiles will have this new feature. One form will be a very cheap version and one will be a highly sophisticated version. The cheap version will develop devices which can be used for a short while. Once you are done with the short term use then you can ‘tear’ the device and throw away as an electronic waste. This will reduce the hassle of carrying devices while returning back from meetings or conferences. This will also a different version in which if you lose your device somewhere or your device is stolen then you can activate the ‘Tear’ command to destroy the device from a remote location. The sophisticated version will have the option of using a single device as a laptop, tablet, mobile, etc. The device will be designed in such a way that you can ‘Tear’ the device and assemble it as per your requirement. This will be next big business opportunity. So this sophisticated ‘Tearable’ will have parts which can be used or kept aside depending upon your requirement. Tearables can even go to the extent of having one device at your household which can be converted in to multiple devices like a Washing machine which can be converted in to vacuum cleaner to dish washer, etc.
Picture Your Future
Who would have thought that the world will become so small for people to interact and meet each other through various mediums? Everything happens with a click of your finger. Apps are helping you to date, travel, cook, connect, etc. Tablets and smart phones help you keep connected with the world 24*7. Tweet, hashtags, FB status are keeping the new generation occupied.
‘Wear’ it, ‘Hear’ it and ‘Tear’ it. Life is going to be so simple going forward. Future will have a lot of events and lot of colors. Brands need to be ready to ‘Picture Your Future’. Brands who will give options to consumers to design their products will surge past other brands. But by making life so simple there will definitely be lot of security issues. So brands need to be ready to look ahead into the future. Brands who will ‘Picture the Future’ will sustain the digital age movement.